Ten things to do in Headingley and Far Headingley at the weekend

There’s so much more than student digs and sports in Headingley.

Student hangout favourite, Otley Run hosts, home of the Leeds Rhinos and international cricket, there’s always something exciting going on in the vibrant neighbourhood of Headingley.

Sandwiched between the two largest universities in Leeds with house prices here are slightly less than average (around the £250,000 mark), Headingley is known nationally as the playground of the young professionals, and internationally as the place in the north to watch the cricket.

This generally means there’s new events on each and every night in this tiny suburb: from all-night student raves to the quieter, more sophisticated afternoon art workshops or brunch menus from Leeds’ independent bakeries.

Just one or two stops on the train from the city centre,(there’s Burley Park or Headingley train station to choose from), this suburb feels a world away from the bustle of the metropolitan bubble. Here are our favourite things to do in Headingley at the weekend….

Catch a game at Headingley Stadium

Image: Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Home of Yorkshire Country Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos, Headingley stadium is the main reason that this little suburb is known worldwide. In the winter, Leeds Rhinos season will keep you entertained, whilst the summer usually sees international test matches on the pitch.

This is the ultimate crowd-pleasing event for anyone interested in sports, and for those that aren’t- there’s plenty of food, drink and activity options within walking distance instead.

Get a bagel from Fika North

Bagel cut in half.
Image: The Hoot Leeds

Situated in Far Headingley, which is still technically part of Headingley, just half a mile up the road from the main high street, this speciality coffee shop also knows a thing or two about bagels. Served from 9 am – 3 pm daily, there are nine different bagel options to choose from including nduja and avocado, rose harissa chickpeas with pink pickles and pea shoots, peanut butter and banana and more. Pair one of these with a chai latte or homemade cake and you’ve got one of the best lunch options around here.

Find out more here.

Refillable wine from Bottle Chop

person holding a bottle.
Image: Bottle Chop

The company are selling their house wines and IPAs using reusable glass bottles. Customers purchase a glass bottle at £5 each and can refill it as many times as they like, all they need to do is return to the store once the bottle is empty.

With choices like Red Abruzzo, Rosso Montepulciano, a delicate purple red; White Sicilian Ciello Bianco Catarratto with pink grapefruit and White Touraine Guy Allion Sauvignon with elderflower, gooseberry and summer fruit available, there’s sure to be a wine for every palette.

You can also stay in store if you can get a spot at the table- it’s constantly packed out with cheese and wine lovery. Every evening between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, grab a charcuterie board and do your bit for the planet at the same time by bringing a reusable wine and beer bottle and filling up for the rest of the week.

Find out more here.

Visit the Kevin Sinfield mural

Leeds Street Gallery have created a huge mural of the Leeds Rhinos player in Headingley above the 24 hour store, located between pubs Headingley Taps and Manahatta. The mural pays tribute to the sports personality and the lasting impression he has left on Leeds, even after leaving the club.

Led by avid Leeds Rhinos fan Dan Whitley, the group of fans have raised all the costs for the mural and have enlisted the skills of Leeds Street Gallery and James Archer (JA Murals) to bring their concept to life.

Find out more here.

Complete the Otley Run

Otley run costumes
Image: WikiCommons

It is a true rite of passage to any students who find themselves in Leeds during their studies and a firm favourite for societies and clubs from the various student unions across the city.

Starting at Woodies, the route takes you through fourteen boozers from Far Headingley, into Headingley itself, then towards Hyde Park before heading right into the centre of town – if you get that far.

Officially the route hosts the first eight pubs in Far Headingley and Headingley: Woodies, The Three Horseshoes, New Inn, Headingley Taps, Manahatta, The Box, Skyrack, The Original Oak before runners move onto Hyde Park pubs like The Hyde Park pub, The Library, Pack Horse, The Eldon and The Fenton before arriving at the final pub: The Dry Dock in the city.

Find out more here.

Drink Pornstar Martini Steins at The Box

Yes, you read that right. A litre of sweet passionfruit, booze and pineapple goodness in a stein. And it only costs £25.

As well as the Pornstar Martinis, you can also get giant steins of other fruity cocktails like ‘Mega Mule’, ‘Caribbean Crush’ and ‘Mambo No. 5’. Although they are billed as sharers, there’s no obligation to actually share them – you can order one for yourself and we, for one, definitely won’t judge you for it.

As well as drawing the crowds in with pornstar steins and the Otley Run, The Box shows live sports all day, every day.

Find out more here.

Catch a movie at Cottage Road Cinema

outside of cinema.
Image: Cottage Road Cinemas

This is Leeds oldest and only, truly, independent cinema, so you can bet this is old picture house has bags of character. Heading into here is like travelling back in time: capturing all of the charm of an 80s theatre, the cinema only shows two different movies per week- a mixture of indie up-and-coming cinematic films, ‘live by satellite’ screenings and classic mainstream movies.

The Cottage Road Cinema is tucked down a side road in the Far Headingley area and remains our favourite spot on a rainy day.

Find out more here.

Grab a slice of Sicily from Poco

slice of pizza with mushrooms and peppers held up to window.
Image: The Hoot Leeds

Whilst the pizza slices and lasagna are stand-out favourites at Poco, we’re obsessed with the sweet treats available from newly-opened Poco Sicilian on Otley Road.

The dessert cabinet is just as full, and stacked with tasty sweet desserts. Expect regular and gluten-free cannelloni in irresistible flavours like salted caramel and pistachio, as well as morning goods like Nutella and vanilla stuffed croissants.

Oven-baked bombolones are a standout favourite here, and it’s not difficult to see why. Topped with fruit, cream and icing sugar, these are perfectly paired with thick Italian hot chocolate- the recipe is thick and creamy that you might need a spoon to eat this, rather than drink it too.

Find out more here.

Shop for pre-loved books at Oxfam Books

Virginia Woolf To The Lighthouse held up against a wall of books.
Image: The Hoot Leeds

Home of pre-loved books that are still in good condition, Oxfam Books is where books find a new home and all the proceeds go to charity. It’s the recycling eco-friendly bookstore that actually has a decent selection of new and old favourites.

The selection here is far from your average charity shop shelf, there’s aisle upon aisle of fiction, including vintage Penguin classics, as well as shelves of University-level textbooks, cookery books and niche topics like politics, history and languages piled high.

Find out more here.

Rent from Buy Nowt LS6

ravioli maker and box with a bowl of pasta.
Image: Buy Nowt LS6

Buy Nowt LS6 believe we can all make an environmental difference by borrowing instead of buying.

So the idea is you can share resources, meet people in your local community and borrow stuff with a pay-as-you-feel donation. Not only does this lower carbon emissions but it helps your back pocket too. In their first eight weeks ago, they have loaned over 155 items over 16 days in total. This equates to saving over £3000 in the local community and approximately 3 tonnes of carbon.

It’s not just foodie items you can borrow either: the lending library has everything from Otley Run costumes to hedge trimmers. There are hundreds of items to choose from, all loaned on a pay-as-you-feel basis. One happy customer has turned their hand to tidying gardens for winter, another made their own ravioli.

Find out more here.

Feature Image- Tim Green, Flickr

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